Ebay Scams? Selling to Asians....

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Colonel Monk, Mar 31, 2014.

  1. Howdy:

    OK, the purpose of this is NOT to beat up on people from Asia

    I seem to have alot of Asian buyers on Ebay these days...

    First off, I always try to sell my gear here on TB FIRST, but you all have been letting me down as of late. I can't get the same price for basses I paid for just a few years ago, all of which I have paid money to luthiers for maintenance and upkeep. Case in point, the bass I'm selling I paid $750 shipped, and had $100 worth of work and a set of strings, and it wouldn't sell here on TB for $700.

    I'm downsizing to pay my bills, and I'd prefer not to go to ebay, but I live in the middle of nowhere and so there's no market for my goods here either.

    OK, so the current issue, is that I finally got my minimum bid on my Ovation Magnum 4 yesterday. I was psyched as I've been trying to sell it for months, and had it listed on Ebay about 3 weeks. There weren't any IVs for sale on Ebay at the time, so yeah, I hoped that I'd have some luck finally.

    When I got the msg that it sold, I took a look, and my heart sank. Oh brother, not another asian buyer....

    See, just a few months ago an asian buyer known to be a notorious "chargeback scammer" bought my Vintage Proco Rat. I sensed something was fishy, so I googled the guy's email address and found that he had a 100% POSITIVE rating on Ebay, because he pays immediately, it's only when he gets your item and files a chargeback that the horror begins. They will find a reason to file a chargeback, and since paypal always sides with the buyer first (like credit card company) he's got your goods and his money!!

    I refunded his money and told him to blank off!!! Relisted my RAT, and AGAIN, an Asian buyer bought my item, this time, they did not have a confirmed paypal address. Also, when the Paypal payment went thru, the First and Last names, were:

    Purchasing Agent.

    I could find no evidence of wrongdoing, but since the name of the buyer and name of the payer did not match, and I was not getting any replies from the buyer, I again cancelled and refunded his money.

    So I'm trying to figure out, what is going on here? Who will be signing for my items, and if something goes wrong, who is what are huh???

    So last night, an Asian buys my Magnum 4 - It's the same guy that offered me a cut-rate price thru the "ask seller a question" - When you count shipping costs, he offered well under $100 less than my price. I informed him that the auction wasn't over, good luck.

    So he wins the auction and pays my asking price for shipping. I sent an invoice, stating that I would not ship to unconfirmed address, so if you aren't confirmed you have only a few days to get there.... You can't seen to tell if they are confirmed until you have the money already. Stupid!

    He is confirmed, but the name on the @#$%#$&ING account doesn't match the name of the dang buyer!!!! It's a US address.

    So I go and do some googling:

    The email address on the account takes me to a blog page in japan. Bad translation, but the guy seems to be a bedroom musician/collector who buys guitars from the US, etc etc

    The shipping address from Paypal, is an industrial address in CA belonging to "http://www.makeshopncompany.com/" which is a shipping service to asia....

    I can't find any DON'T SHIP TO THESE GUYS THEY'RE CROOKS flashing signs, but I'm uneasy and spooked - why are all these Asians buying my stuff!!!!!?????

    The PROCO RAT? After letting it sit here for a few months hoping a regular American would buy it, I relisted it last night and it's been bid on by xxxxxxxx who is only been an ebay member since dec 2013.

    What is going on here? Is there some kind of demand in Asia for reselling this stuff? Is it because both items ARE VINTAGE and both say so in the title?

    If you haven't ebayed in a while, I'll explain why I'm so worried about scammers.

    First, ebay has removed the SELLERS right to give Buyers NEGATIVE FEEDBACK.

    You can give them positive feedback, or you can report it to Ebay (which rarely goes anywhere, I'm told) but that is it.

    Second, there is NO OTHER PAYMENT method except PayPal anymore. No checks, No money orders. So when you send your package out, you don't actually have the money in your hands.

    I have been using ebay since university in 1995 when it was the only place you could buy computer parts at Michigan Tech. They instituted a NEW policy recently, that they place a HOLD ON YOUR MONEY via PayPal when you sell, until you hit a certain threshold so they can trust you as a seller. Your money is not released to you until 2-3 biz days after the buyer signs for the item. DON'T EVER send without signature required - you will get scammed!!

    This new policy doesn't take into consideration all the successful sales you've made over the past 19 years, it starts from whenever they waved their magic wand and re-made the rules.

    Third, the "SELLER PROTECTION" they offer only works two ways. If the item is signed for, it won't allow them to claim it wasn't delivered. Second, if they claim that the item was "not as described", you need to have ample documentation (AND PICTURES DON'T COUNT BECAUSE OF PHOTOSHOP) showing that you described the condition of the item beyond a shadow of a doubt.

    But make no mistake, when a shady buyer, or say, one who CAN'T READ ENGLISH receives your item, and thinks it should operate as new, when they file a chargeback, first thing that happens is their money is refunded to them RIGHT OUT OF YOUR ACCOUNT (and I guess, your bank account if they are connected) until the case is examined.

    How does PayPal force the buyer to send back the merchandise? How do they stop them from damaging/altering your goods?

    OK. So the real question is:

    Do I send the item to the guy? He looks legit, but what if something goes wrong?

    Frankly, I'm unemployed and I NEED THE DAMN MONEY.

    When you have nothing to lose it's easy to say, "sell it to someone else, don't use Ebay" but I don't have alot of options right now.

    IF, this person was from any other part of the world that spoke my language, I would not feel as I do, because I could ask them what the heck is going on, but there is a WALL between us in the west and Asia. They nod yes, when they don't understand or mean no. I lived in the Bay Area in CA for many years, and my Chinese landlord sunny always used the language barrier to his benefit.

    I don't know what to do. I'm depending on this money to survive, and nobody in the USA seems interested in buying my stuff.

    Interested in what you all think.

    If you don't have an opinion, just BEWARE of what is happening out there.

    These scammers have 100% ratings because they always pay immediately, and they NEVER SELL ANYTHING, so there is NO WAY TO GIVE THEM NEGATIVE FEEDBACK.

    Where's the emoticon for shooting yourself in the head? Sick of this crap.

  2. Bassamatic

    Bassamatic keepin' the beat since the 60's

    eBay itself is the scam. They care only about getting buyers and sellers be damned. AND their fees are getting to be astronomical (about 15% all in). I'd rather take 3 months to sell something on CL than give it to eBay.

    By the way, one thing I did in the past was to leave the positive feedback but leave a strong negative comment there. I don't know who will read it, but it is there.

    Regarding the Asian buyers - There are now a lot of wealthy people in Asia that are buying and collecting stuff just like we used to and they use a local buying and shipping service. PayPal is SUPPOSED to protect you.

    Tough one - good luck!
  3. I know, it was grown from a small community to a giant one that has all the problems of the world, including organized crime.

    Yet another good idea gone bad because of corporate greed.

    OK, I sent a two part message to the buyer via ebay again, explaining my reservations and restating the condition (so they can't claim not as described). I told them that I wanted an acknowledgement of the condition before I will ship.

    In looking again at the paypal transaction, there are two separate email addresses listed, the one connected to the ebay user (which is a number, not a name :eyebrow:) I checked the domain, and in fact, it is a music store in Japan or ???


    I'm going to hold the item until I receive a reply. If I don't get one in 5 days I'll refund their money.

    I really need the money or I'd cancel the sale. I'm in a pickle and I'm out of time waiting for americans to buy my stuff.

    I just found another thing they've added to ebay "seller's requirements" and I intend to try and weed this crap out from here on. I just don't need the headache.

    This will be an acid test - if I get screwed there will be no more ebay - they will just have to live with this simple fact:

    They are setting up the community to die 100%. The only thing for sale will be NEW MERCHANDISE for which there is no haggling over the condition. There will be no more honest people in that community.

    I suppose, if that happens that would open the door for someone with integrity to come along and start a new auction service that actually cares about sellers too.
  4. Why do you expect to get back what you payed for a bass. You know its less valuable as soon as you officially own so why not just take your loss and sell it here? Just curious
  5. Ukiah Bass

    Ukiah Bass

    May 10, 2006
    Good luck, I feel for you. I cancelled my eBay account last year when they changed their terms of service that required you to allow eBay to sell your name and phone number and permit robo calls. We all need the money, but not THAT much. Screw eBay.
  6. Not the case with vintage joe...

    If that were the case, then why would a 1975 beat to heck precision bass sell for $3000? They weren't more than a few hundred dollars back then...

    This is not as coveted an item as that, but it's still a 30+ year old instrument with vintage appeal. I wouldn't be selling it at all if I didn't need to.

    I do realize that TB is a smaller community than ebay, that's why there's not was wide a market and thus, potential for a "market price".

    I like to sell via craigslist too when it works - it has ALWAYS worked for me as a buyer, as a seller, there are alot of flakes.

    I had to move back to my hometown to take care of my folks, and the economy here is worse than the rest of the US. People don't make much money, which is how I ended up in CA to begin with. Unfortunately, as Californians know, it's expensive to live there, so you make more money, but if you don't have a family toehold on property or 2 big incomes, you can buy a house, can barely afford an apartment (especially now, with all the foreclosures rent has never been higher)

    So, CL is really not a good option here for luxury items.

    Good market for snowplows and snowmobiles...
  7. I've had problems like this on eBay in the past. I had a few international bidders somehow win auctions even though I tried to limit who could bid or where I would ship. Then, I started getting purchases for mostly musical equipment through re-sellers based in the US who would then forward the packages on to the actual customers in Japan. I guess they'd purchase on behalf of the customers who saw the eBay auctions on a Japanese site, a domestic agent would make the purchase, have you ship to CA or AZ, then wait until they could fill a container, ship to Japan, and distribute to the final customers. The big issue is that if any damage occurred in shipping from me to the domestic buyer, it might not get noticed for months until the item finally got to the true customer in Japan, or if damage occurred during ocean transit or final shipping within Japan, it might be incorrectly blamed on me and suddenly my eBay reputation is called into question.

    I have called eBay in the past about these kind of bids (where it seems you're selling to a US customer but in fact they're going to re-sell to the Asian market) and have managed to have them void transactions and reverse charges without any issues. I also managed to escape any negative feedback from refusing to complete the sale by talking with eBay directly.

    I now state in auctions that the items are for sale within the US only, only for US customers, and not for sale to re-sellers or agents.

    I also added the top 'offenders' to my blocked bidders list.

    Good luck.
  8. Biggbass


    Dec 14, 2011
    Planet Earth
    Easy fix for your anxiety with Ebay selling. Limit your bid acceptance and sale criteria
    to USA Mainland only.
  9. willbassyeah


    Oct 9, 2011
    use reverb.com seemed to be friendlier for musician, btw the reason why we asians buy vintage stuffs from us...is because we have ridiculous 2nd hand market in our country
  10. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    +1000 I do the same thing here on TB I don't send overseas period it sucks but I'm not dealing with trying to get a bass back through customs if something goers wrong.
  11. I gave up selling on eBay long time ago. Craigslist is limited to your region, but it is for my purposes a lot better. You only have to watch out for the "is the "item" still available ... I am buying this for my nephew and I am in South Africa at this time" scamming messages.

    Just curious, not arguing, but why do you think population/crime growth is the fault of corporations?
  12. Main reason, is that shareholder earnings become more important to the company than their customers.

    Since this problem started to pop up for me, I've begun stressing about having less control on selling - maybe that's the wrong way to put it - I haven't done much selling the past 4 or 5 years, only buying. So I didn't realize all the changes that have occurred. As I said, sellers can't ding buyers publicly any longer. So you get one of these outfits that buys for export to Asian Market - they NEVER sell anything, only buy. They always PAY - then once you send the item, the chargeback scam begins.... If you have already given them good feedback for paying, you can't change it. If something goes wrong, you can report the buyer, but it does nothing to weaken their status.

    No buyer complains thru Ebay anymore, because you have to choose either to complain to ebay (and losing your ability to chargeback) or you simply chargeback, and it goes your way from the start.

    Back to the corporate greed statement - So I looked into this by googling and reading Ebay's comments regarding the seller issues - no ability to rate buyers, etc..... They basically say, that they found BUYERS to be reluctant to rate a seller neutral or negative for fear of retaliation by the sellers.... So they thought that chased buyers away.... If there's buyers, there will be sellers (at least till the problem reaches critical mass) but you can have all the sellers in the world and that doesn't make for buyer demand, right? I suppose, not always...

    Customer is always right? Well, alot of people aren't right, they're idiots looking to game the system. You sell to them, and they find one scratch that wasn't mentioned and freak out, or you didn't ship it the same day and they are pissed off, etc.... Hell no, not everyone is that way, but there are some really needy buyers out there.

    Main point here, is that ebay took a stand to make it a buyers market, sellers be damned, because it makes them more money.

    Without going into a whole political thing here, I'll just point out that it's a shame that a companies interest in profits most of the time gets in the way of any integrity they had when they started out. Ebay used to be a marketplace that was policed by it's members - you screw someone over, and you get a stain on your feedback, and even ONE stain could preclude you from shopping there, so at least at the outset there wasn't much bad behavior.

    Now, you've got these "pro-buyers" that are buying up our vintage stuff to ship overseas to resell in a foreign market - those resellers are simply out to make money, what do they care about the community? They aren't SELLING, so they don't need to behave when they are buying, because there is no way for sellers to find out!!

    I'm pretty close to giving up on it myself, I'm in a bind right now and can't wait months for interest other places....

    AS for the block sellers, thing, that is a newish (to me) feature that I am going to set up ASAFP.

    PS - I don't recall saying anything about population/crime growth per se - the point was ebay was a great idea in theory, especially when it was not yet reaching the masses - I mean, how many people were really on the internet in the early 90's or even still in the late 90's. Certainly not dumbass criminals - so that element was not present in the numbers that it is today, now that nearly EVERYONE has access/uses the internet.
  13. Got it, I misunderstood, I thought you meant corporate greed in Asia which led to population growth, affluence and crime.

    I agree that eBay has changed quite a bit, not for the best. I stopped selling/buying through them almost 10 years ago.

    One of my personal observations selling through Craigslist and some people from Asia is that they will try to bring down the price to a ridiculously low level. Right now I have Genz-Benz acoustic amp for sale which is like new, I am asking 50% of the lowest going price out there and this guy "Sonny" keeps trying to buy it for 25% of retail and he does not give up asking every couple of days.

    I know it does not hurt to ask and I don't get offended by a really low-ball offer, but how many times does it take to say no before it becomes NO!

    Good luck with your sales, I think the suggestion to limiting it to selling to the US only will help.
  14. Yeah, so just to make the point - the organized crime I was talking about, is these chargeback scammers like the guy I refer to HERE

    These guys probably do alot of "legitimate" business, given the volume they do, but they do alot of chargeback scamming too - basically whenever they think they can get away with it.

    And like I said before, since they ONLY BUY on Ebay, there's no way to grade them - so they are screwing people in the ebay community (and not just ebay US, but UK and others) and with no capability for neg feedback for the seller victims, he's just able to keep on doing it.

    So the system is set up to let people game it. I nearly shipped an item to that guy, and would almost certainly have been screwed selling such a beat up vintage item with a few wonky pots....

    Hell, it was no Moog System 55 or anything, where it would be impossible to buy one without a "few wonky pots" but still.... Where I was comfortable, now I'm not.

    So, yeah, probably the beginning of the end for me and ebay.

    You reap what you sow.... The market seems ripe for someone to come along and redo the original concept of a self-policing auction venue - thus leaving evilbay to collapse in on itself like a black hole.

  15. joeeg33

    joeeg33 Supporting Member

    Sep 11, 2002
    Central New Jersey
    Oh wow! This sucks! I just had that buyer buy a set of golf clubs from me 2 weeks ago. I shipped to the warehouse in your link you posted.
    Well, as of now I haven't heard anything from paypal. Well, I know with paypal you only have 45 days to open a claim so, I guess I'll just hope I'm one of the lucky ones who doesn't get charged back.

    If that's what their doing, it shouldn't take too long before paypal realizes what's going on.
  16. FunkHead

    FunkHead Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    This sounds like a Broker situation. Very typically the item ships to a corporate address in USA the gets reshipped to Asia. I have done a few deals just like this with no problems but there are definitely some chargebacks going on.
  17. ydnac robert

    ydnac robert Inactive

    Mar 29, 2014
    Bad Guy/Scammer can be from anywhere not just Asia.

    In fact, very fast economic growth in Asia makes them very vast and most potential market/buyer place, esp for online business things like ebay. Where they can buy goods that are not available in their country. Maybe more than US Citizens, who can buy almost whatever they want (directly/online) in US.

    The world has to be able to found a better, safer online business system/technology than eBay, paypal etc to accommodate the fact.

    Any system has their weak spot for bad guy, be it scammer/hacker, cracker etc.
    Be very logical and as safe as you can, but always Trust your instinct.
  18. Joeeg33, yeah not saying that you'll have any troubles. If the item was described well, and isn't electronic (which is easier to claim it's broken) you may not have troubles.

    But that buyer is one to avoid - he's got thousands and thousands of buys, and NO SELLS. So you won't see a single negative mark.

    ydnac robert, you are totally right - I don't like it that in these examples it's only Asians being mentioned, but that's because that's the trouble that I'm having.. I did say in my OP that I wasn't out to vilify Asians....

    I think for the regular american, the single biggest problem doing business in Asia is communication. I worked in Silicon Valley over a decade, and spent time in SE asia, so I have firsthand experience.

    As a regular seller though, I'm frustrated because I can't tell what the buyer is up to, and they can't seem to understand my messages, so the communication is all one way. That seems really risky to me.

    People say "don't ship to unconfirmed PP address" and others today say "that doesn't matter anymore, you're covered either way"

    I should trust my instinct - problem is, I need the money!!

    What I ended up doing was sending a message thru ebay, reiterating the condition, and asking for an acknowledgement thru ebay msg that they understand and want to proceed with the sale. If I don't get that, I'm going to have to cancel the sale I think. With that acknowledgement, I think they'd be hard pressed to win a dispute.

  19. AaronVonRock


    Feb 22, 2013
    Also realize that just because someone is living in Asia doesn't mean they are Asian. Take me, for example. I buy stuff all the time from eBay and have it shipped to Bangkok. I've never had a problem. Not once.
  20. Yeah, sure.... But I'd be able to figure out from your username most likely that we can communicate.

    Looks like this deal isn't going to go thru.

    After I sent them my message thru ebay, I got the following reply:

    I'm thinking he didn't really understand what I was trying to say. What I said in the msg, was just a reiteration of the vintage condition - you know, just in case he looked just at pictures of the item and didn't really read the description. I didn't necessarily want him to give up on it, but wanted to cover my ass in the event of trouble so I could tell ebay I made it abuntantly clear this was not a new item...

    Damn, this is the one bass in my collection I never really got any play time on. At the time I bought it we were gigging alot and practicing more... Secretly, I've been wishing I wasn't selling it, and was instead selling one of the others.

    I've got three others on the chopping block, but they need some shining up before pictures and I'm waiting for some polishing stuff to arrive. Selling my beloved Alembic (but which I haven't touched in 10 years) my Guild B-302A, and a fretless jazz. I'm more sure those need to go than I am the Ovation, maybe I should keep it.... :rolleyes:

    Anyway, I'll say this, Ebay is not the place it used to be to sell things. It will waste more time than you imagine it could.

    I think all the disclaimers I've been sending to these guys I'll just make a boilerplate part of descriptions from now on. I think the more accurate and cover your butt you do, the smaller the chance is that they can do chargebacks.

    Seller Beware.

    Rock Onward :bassist:


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